Latham & Watkins Wins Financial Times Award for ‘Most Innovative Firm in International Strategy’

Financial Times

October 10, 2014

Latham & Watkins has been awarded ‘Most Innovative Law Firm in International Strategy’ by the Financial Times in its 2014 European Innovative Lawyers Awards for “[s]ystematic and strategic growth of the London office to take advantage of renewing European markets.”

The award recognizes the ‘standout’ growth and performance of the London office, with the Financial Times adding: “[A]s the UK and Europe tentatively emerge from the financial crisis, recovery in the US has been stronger and more sustained. US-originated deals dominate cross-border mergers and acquisitions, better liquidity means European private-equity houses are turning to the US high-yield market, and there is an increasing Americanisation of regulation and financial crime.All this could explain why US firms are having a moment in London, none more so than Latham & Watkins… quite a turnround for a firm that a decade ago had just 25 lawyers in London; it now has 250 fee-earners, including 60 partners, after an aggressive hiring spree.”

Latham was shortlisted in five awards and also won praise for its innovation in the European legal market, including:

  • ‘Standout’ in Corporate & Commercial advising RHÖN-KLINIKUM Aktiengesellschaft on the sale of 43 hospitals and affiliated companies to Fresenius/HELIOS in a deal that “[c]reated a merger structure to allow Rhön-Klinikum to sell 43 hospitals without general shareholder approval.” The report recognised the transaction created a “new model for similar acquisitions in the future.”
  • ‘Highly commended’ in Finance for advising Ares Capital in the structuring and implementation of its European Loan Programme joint venture with GE Capital, which the Financial Times noted was part of a “wave of deals as US financial services institutions show an interest in Europe.” In its report, the Financial Times adds that the success of the transaction “unlocks a potential improvement in Europe’s financial wellbeing.”
  • ‘Commended’ in Corporate Strategy for developing a Competitor Intelligence Database, an internal competitive intelligence platform through an online database of press articles and demographic data.
  • Hamburg corporate partner Henning Schneider was ranked among the Top 10 Legal Innovators of the Year for his role advising Rhön-Klinikum, Germany’s second-largest hospital operator, on the sale of 43 hospitals and medical care units. The Financial Times recognized the “new transaction structure” of the deal and, in doing so, “helped create one of Europe’s largest hospital operators, while avoiding litigation by minority shareholders and competitors.”

The Innovative Lawyers report, which is published by the Financial Times, in conjunction with RSG Consulting, researches 188 law firms, legal service providers and in-house legal teams, interviewing and seeking feedback from 550 clients, lawyers and experts.

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